The Office of Consumer Protection is alerting residents to be vigilant about the Internal Revenue Service's new plan to collect back taxes.
The IRS has hired private collection agencies to help collect back taxes. Some say this causes confusion, and increases the risk for tax scammers to defraud consumers.
"The scammers who are out there right now — and they've been contacting people via the phone, demanding payment — are going to take advantage of this situation," Steven Levins, Executive Director of the Office of Consumer Protection said.
The IRS says consumers who owe taxes will get a letter from them saying their debt was referred to a collection company. The consumer will then be directed to the IRS for payment. If consumers are directed elsewhere, they should not pay money to that source.
Officials say taxpayers should pay taxes only to the IRS, and no other sources to avoid being scammed.
Consumers who suspect tax scams can click here for information on how to report it to the Office of Consumer Protection.